Attorneys and Co-Counsel

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Bar Rules Encourage

In virtually every state, joint ventures between lawyers and law firms are permissible so long as such arrangements comply with the applicable ethical rules. In most states, a division of fees between lawyers who are not in the same law firm is permissible so long as:

(1) the client is properly advised and consents to such division and

(2) the fee and fee split meet such additional ethical requirements as are set forth by the applicable state.

In Virginia, Rule 1.5(e), Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct, Virginia State Bar, states:


A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if:

The client is advised of and consents to the participation of all the lawyers involved;

The terms of the division of the fee are disclosed to the client and the client consents thereto;

The total fee is reasonable; and

The division of fees and the client’s consent is obtained in advance of the rendering of legal services, preferably in writing.

The Virginia State Bar contemplates that there will be situations in which joint ventures and associating counsel will take place. Indeed, the “Comment” by the Virginia State Bar regarding the “Division of Fee” states: “A division of fee refers to a single billing to a client covering the fee of two or more lawyers who are not in the same firm. A division of fee facilitates association of more than one lawyer in a matter in which neither alone could serve the client as well, and most often is used when the fee is contingent and the division is between a referring lawyer and a trial specialist”. Moreover, the Virginia State Bar comments that Rule 1.5 (e) eliminated the requirement “that each lawyer involved in a fee-splitting arrangement assume full responsibility to the client, regardless of the degree of the lawyer’s continuing participation” in order “to encourage referrals under appreciate circumstances”. In fact, in its Comment to Rule 1:1, dealing with a lawyer’s competence, the Virginia State Bar states:

“In determining whether a lawyer employs the requisite knowledge and skill in a particular matter, relevant factors include the relative complexity and specialized nature of the matter, the lawyer’s personal experience, the lawyer’s training and experience in the field in question, the preparation and study the lawyer is able to give the matter and whether it is feasible to refer the matter to, or associate or consult with, a lawyer of established competence in the field in question.”

In this era of ever-increasing complexity and specialization, joint ventures and associating counsel often is advisable and in the best interests of the client. The Virginia State Bar not only has clear ethical rules permitting joint venturing and associating counsel, but encourages such relationships between lawyers and law firms in appropriate circumstances.

Why Partner with CGBB

We designed our law firm specifically to handle large and complex cases, primarily injury and death cases. Our team includes veteran trial lawyers, with decades of experience, a dedicated legal research attorney, top-notch legal assistants, a registered nurse, a Director of Brain Injury Services, and a network of the best experts in the country in a multitude of fields. We also have our own jury consulting company, Jury Impressions, which enables us to utilize juror-based analyses of virtually every aspect of a case. 

Our team has a long and successful history of working with lawyers throughout Virginia and the U.S. on significant cases. The vast majority of our cases are joint ventures with, or referrals from, other lawyers. Our collaborations with other lawyers have resulted in over 50 verdicts and settlements exceeding a million dollars.

Types of Joint Ventures,
Co-Counsel Relationships, and Referrals

  • Referral (with a percentage of fees to you)
  • Silent Partner
  • Limited Issue Co-Counsel
  • Trial Co-Counsel
  • Lead Counsel

Our Flexibility

We are flexible in how we can work with you. We have worked with lawyers on all types of relationships, ranging from a small percentage for handling a single issue in the case, to larger percentages for straight referrals, to significant percentages for serving as lead counsel.

Call us to discuss how we can be of assistance to you.

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Our Specialized Practice Areas

Case Results

More recoveries over $1 million than any other law firm since 2008As reported by Virginia Lawyers Weekly.


When I refer a personal injury case to Stephanie Grana, I know that the client will be in the very best of hands. Stephanie’s team will be thorough and compassionate, and the client will receive the benefit of Stephanie’s decades of experience in the courtroom. She has a reputation statewide for being a heavy hitter, while still maintaining professionalism and the highest ethics.If she takes the case, I know I can rely on Stephanie Grana to do whatever needs to be done to maximize the value for my client. It’s a pleasure referring cases to her, and the results she gets have been very impressive.
Tracy Houck
The Harris Law Firm
I was retained to represent the family of a woman killed in a tragic accident in Virginia. Due to the high profile nature of the case, I knew it was vital to retain an extremely high-profile law firm. After consideration and discussions with other prominent Virginia attorneys, I chose Irv Cantor and his team. From Day 1, it became crystal clear that I had made the right decision. I have no doubt that the efforts of Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci were the primary reason for the case resolving quite favorably.
Jeffrey Laffey
Laffey, Bucci & Kent
I partnered with Irv Cantor on a wrongful death case with a Virginia decedent. Irv and his team are everything I was looking for in an associating counsel – a keen insight into local courts, lawyers, and businesses; great judgment; a willingness to work through difficult procedural or substantive issues; and empathy for the decedent’s family. He, together with Stephanie Grana and Elliott Buckner, offered the ability to utilize mock juries and to use technology to present a case in its best light. They are very practical and easy to work with – I would work with them again in a minute if the opportunity presented itself.
Paul Perlman
Hodgson Russ
I am a sole practitioner in Alexandria. When I was referred to a catastrophic injury case, I associated Irv Cantor and his team to assist me. It proved to be a wise decision. The case resolved for $3,000,000. The joint venture was both smart and successful. In 37 years of law practice, I have worked with hundreds of attorneys, and the Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci team is at the very top of my list.
Tim Battle
We recently associated Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci in a tragic wrongful death case that got resolved for top dollar in large measure because of the legal ability, creativity, and tenacity of Irv Cantor and his team. When you associate Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci, you get it all: smarts, diligence, compassion, resources, relationships, and most of all, results!
Keenan Nix
Morgan & Morgan
I have had the fortunate pleasure of co-counseling two cases with Irv Cantor and his team. The first, a medical negligence case, settled for $5,900,000 and the second, a wrongful death case, resulted in a jury verdict for more than was ever offered pre-trial. My joint venture with Irv and his team at Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci was not only successful but also quite enjoyable. I look forward to my next joint venture with Cantor Grana Buckner Bucci.
William Mills
Glenn, Mills and Foster
I am the senior partner of a 19 lawyer plaintiff’s personal injury firm in West Virginia and Ohio. I have referred cases to Irv Cantor and his team, and Irv has referred cases to me and my firm. There is no one in the State of Virginia that I would rather refer cases to than Irv Cantor. I can also state without hesitation that he represents the highest ideals of our legal profession, and he is a credit to our profession. I have not made such glowing remarks and used these terms I have used above for any other lawyer that I have been associated with, outside my own law firm.
Jim Bordas
Bordas and Bordas